Rough Scan
 






 
       
        II
         
        SANDY STARTS TO STUDY GEOMETRY.
         
        “MAN,
        Bawbie, I think I’ll see an’ get into the Toon Cooncil some o’ thae 
          days,” says Sandy to me the ither forenicht.  
        “Me an’ some o’ the rest o’ the chaps have been haein’ a bit 
          o’ an argeyment i’ the washin’-house this nicht or twa back, an’ I tell 
          you, I can gabble awa’ aboot public questions as weel’s some o’ them 
          i’ the Cooncil.  I ga’e them a bit screed on the watter question 
          on Setarday nicht that garred them a’ gape; an’ Dauvit Kenawee said 
          there an’ then that I shud see an’ get a haud o’ the Ward Committee 
          an’ get a chance o’ pettin’ my views afore them.  
          They a’ said I was a born spowter, an’ that wi’ a little practice 
          I cud speechify the half o’ the Cooncil oot at the door.”
        I 
          lut Sandy blether awa’ for a whilie, an’ syne I strikes in, “Ay, juist 
          that, Sandy, but you’ll mibby g’wa’ an’ get that tume saft soap barrel 
          scraipit oot, an the wechts gi’en a black lead; an’ we’ll hear aboot 
          the Toon Cooncil efter your wark’s dune.”
        “Oh, 
          but I’ll manish that, Bawbie,” says he, gey snappish-like; “but still 
          a man wi’ brains in’s heid canna juist be setisfeed wi’ saft soap an’ 
          black lead a’thegither.”
        “Ow
        weel,” says I, “you wud mibby fa’ in wi’ a fell lot o’ baith o’ them, 
          even i’ the Toon Cooncil.  When 
          you’re wantin’ a favour, a little saft scap — altho’ it’s only scraipins 
          — is sometimes a very handy thing to hae; an’ if you dinna get what 
          you want, you can pet on the black lead syne.  
          There’s a fell lot o’ that kind o’ thing gaen on, an’ nae mistak’.  
          There’s Beylie Thingymabob, for instance—but, of coorse, that’s 
          no’ the point—”
        “What 
          I was ravin’,” brook in Sandy, “was that when a man’s heid’s fu’ o’ 
          brains, an’ them wirkin’ juist like barm, he maun hae some occupation 
          for his intelleck, or his facilties ‘ill gie wey.  
          There’s Bandy Wobster, for instance, tak’s up his heid wi’ gomitry 
          an’ triangles an’ siclike, juist ‘cause he has some brains in his
        heid, 
          an’ maun occupy them; an’ what for no’ me as weel?”
        “Gomitry 
          an’ triangles!” says I.  “Ye’ll 
          mibby be for into the flute band next, are ye?  
          Weel, I’ll tell you this — I ken naething aboot the gomitry, 
          or what like a thing it is; but if you bring ony o’ your triangles here, 
          wi’ there ping-ping-pinkey-pingin’, I’ll pet them doon the syre; that’s 
          what I’ll do.  I like music o’ 
          near ony kind.  I can pet up wi’ the melodian on the concertina; 
          but yon triangle thing I wudna hae I’ the hoose.  You can tell Bandy Wobster he can keep his 
          triangles for his parrots swingin’ on.  
          We want neen o’ them here.”
        “Tut,
        Bawbie, ‘oman,” says Sandy, “you’re juist haiverin’ straucht forrit.  It’s no’ flute band triangles I mean ava.  
          It’s the anes you see in books—a’ shapes an’ sizes, ye know.  
          Bandy learned a’ aboot them when he was at the sea.  
          Sailors learn aboot them for measurin’ hoo far onywey is frae 
          ony ither wey, d’ye know, d’ye see?  
          Bandy tells me that gomitry—that’s what they ca’ the book fu’ 
          o’ triangles—is a grand thing for learnin’ you to speak; an’ he offered 
          to gi’e me a lesson or twa.”
        “That’ll 
          be whaur Bandy gets a’ his gab,” says I.  
        “I think, Sandy,” I says, says I, “that you’ve mair need to learn 
          something to garr you haud your tongue.  
          You’ve nae need for learnin’ to speak, weel-a-wat, excep’ it 
          be to speak sense; an’ I dinna suppose gomitry ‘ill do you ony guid 
          that wey.  It’s made but a puir job o’ Bandy Webster, 
          at onyrate.”
        “That’s 
          a’ you ken, Bawbie,” says Sandy.  “There’s 
          mair in Bandy than the spune pets in; mind I’m tellin’ you.  
          He was tellin’s aboot some o’ the exyems in gomitry lest
        nicht, 
          an’, I’ll swag, he garred Cocky Baxter, the auld dominie, chowl his
        chafts.”
        “Exyems!” 
          says I.  “Is that the same as 
          exy-oey we used to play at on oor sklates at the skule?”
        “No, 
          no, no, no, no,” says Sandy.  “What 
          are you haiverin’ aboot, Bawbie?  It’s 
          a different kind o’ thing a’thegither.  
          The first exyem is that onything that’s equal to the same thing 
          as ony ither thing, is equal to the thing that’s equal to the thing 
          to which the ither thing’s equal, d’ye know, d’ye see?”
        “By
        faigs, Sandy,” says I, “that’s waur than exy-oey yet.  What was’t you said?”
        “It’s 
          as plain as twice-twa’s fewer, Bawbie, if you juist watch,” says Sandy.  “If ae thing is equal till anither thing, an’ 
          the ither thing’s equal to some ither thing that’s equal to the thing 
          that the first thing’s equal till, then you can easy see that the ae 
          thing ‘ill be equal to the ither, as weel as to the ither thing that 
          they’re baith equal till.”
        I 
          thocht Sandy was raley gettin’ akinda lichtwecht, d’ye ken, for I cud 
          nether mak’ heid nor tail o’ his confused blethers.
        “Keep 
          me, Bawbie, do you no’ see through’t?” he says, glowerin’ at me wi’ 
          a queer-like look in his e’e.  “Gie’s 
          three bawbees!  Look now; there’s 
          thae three bawbees.  Weel than, 
          here’s twa here, an’ there’s ane there.  
          Noo, this ane here is equal to that ane there, an this ither 
          ane here is equal to that ane there too; so that, when they’re baith 
          equal to that ane, the teen maun be equal to the tither.  
          A blind bat cud see that wi’ its een shut.”
        Sandy 
          set himsel’ up like’s he’d pey’d a big account or something, an’, gien 
          his heid a gey impident cock to the tae side, he says, “D’ye no’ see’t?”
        “See’t?” 
          says I, I says.  “What wud hender’s 
          frae seein’t?  An’ is that what 
          gomitry learns you?” says I.
        “It 
          is that,” says Sandy.  “That’s 
          the first exyem.”
        “Weel,” 
          says I, “it tak’s a michty lang road to tell you what ony three-’ear-auld 
          bairn in the G-O goes cud tell you in a jiffy.”
        “Ah, 
          but it’s the mental dreel that’s the vailable thing,” says Sandy.  “It learns you to argey, d’ye no’ see?  If I had a glisk at gomitry for a nicht or 
          twa, an’ got a puckle triangles an’ parilellygrams into my heid, I’ll 
          be fit to gie a scrieve on the watter question, or the scaffies’
        wadges, 
          that’ll garr some o’ oor Toon Cooncillers crook their moos.  
          Wait till you see!”
        “Ay, 
          Sandy,” says I, “you’ll go an’ get the swine suppered an’ your ither 
          jobs dune, an’, gin ten o’clock were here, you’ll get a coo’s drink, 
          wi’ plenty o’ pepper in’t, an’ get to your bed.  
          Thae washin’-hoose argeymints are affectin’ your nervous system, 
          I’m dootin’.  Rin, noo, an see an’ stick in.”
        I 
          raley thocht, mind you, the wey the cratur was haiverin’, that he wantit 
          tippence i’ the shillin’.
        “I 
          wad juist like you to hear ane a’ oor debates, an’ you’d cheenge your 
          opinion,” says Sandy.  “Bandy 
          promised to tell’s something the morn’s nicht aboot the postylate in
        gomitry.  I juist wiss you heard him.”
        “What 
          wud there be to hear aboot that?” says I.  
        “Oor ane’s juist the very same; he’s near-hand aye late.”
        “Wha?” 
          says Sandy, wi’ a winderin’ look in his ee.
        “Oor 
          pestle!” says I; “he’s aye late.  You’ll 
          of’en hear his whistle i’ the street when it’s efter ten o’clock at
        nicht.”
        Sandy 
          gaed shauchlin’ oot at the door, chuck-chuck-chuckin’ awa’ till himsel’ 
          like a clockin’ hen, an’ I didna see hint nor hair o’ him for mair than 
          twa ‘oors efter.  But what cud 
          ye expeck?  That’s juist aye the wey o’ thae men when they 
          get the warst o’t.